The pictures speak a 1000 words!! Overall, this computer is a BEAST, in my non-qualified opinion. See the WEI score to back that up. I’m a little late to the unboxing party as I’ve had this notebook to play with since the 6th of January. 🙂
This post will give a brief overview of the differences between the newer (2009) HP dv7-3080us notebook which I obtained under extremely fortuitous circumstances against my older (2008) customized HP dv9700t laptop. Price-wise, this dv7-3080us retails from $1,399 and upwards. In August, 2008, I purchased dv9700t custom notebook for just under $1440. With computers, this is pretty much the way things are i.e. price drops and you can almost always wait to get that perfect computer because something better will come along!
Without further ado, check the two computers out!
- 1.6GHz Core i7 processor (dv7-3080us) vs 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo processor (dv9700t): The Core i7 chip has Turbo Boost which can bump up the processing speed from the current 1.6MHz to 2.8GHz. I’m not a fan of doing any sort of overclocking on a notebook so I’m currently using the notebook at the base 1.6Ghz frequency. From a plain user standpoint, I noticed that my hardware controls are much more responsive and have no lag time between the press and whatever command is evoked. Points go to the core i7 processor for that. I’m able to boot into Windows in less than 1 minute which is not saying too much given as my other computer was humming pretty smoothly. That 1-minute boot-up rule is still holding up after all the usual suspects have been installed (Carbonite, Norton Internet Security, etc).
- Blu-ray ROM: This is just me buying into the hype of having a notebook that can play Blu-ray DVD discs, but this is definitely better than having a plain ole’ Super Multi CD/DVD +/- RW burner. Points go to the dv7-3080us for that. It’s kinda telling to note that I would NOT have purchased a Blu-ray ROM for ~ $200 more because I am not convinced that Blu-ray is worth the extra money.
- Updated components:
- like the bluetooth radio now contains bluetooth 2.1 technology versus the dv9700t’s v. 2.0
- a much better sound card from IDT technologies in the HP dv7-3080us versus the Realtek HD audio sound system in the dv9700t
- the replacement of the Motorola modem in the dv9700t with the newer LSI HDA modem in the dv7-3080us.
- ‘softer’ keys on the dv7-3080us which are less prone to my ‘fat’ fingers getting stuck and yanking off keys (true story)
- a ‘flush’ webcam in the dv7-3080us that doesn’t light up when in use like the dv9700t did (I actually used duct tape to cut off the blue light that got turned on whenever the webcam was in use. It alerts potential thieves that they may be recorded), etc. As you’ll see in the pictures, the webcam light in the dv7-3080us has been lost and the actual webcam doesn’t protrude like the dv9700t’s does below:
- rearranged audio input/output ports. The arrangement of the dv7-3080us puts the audio input/output to the right of the user which tucks any cords neatly out of the way whereas the audio i/o ports are in the way on the dv9700t laptop.
- the removal of the physical wifi/bluetooth switch in favor of a touch-activated switch for wifi/bluetooth on the dv7-3080us notebook. Frankly, I prefer the new way of turning wifi/bluetooth on or off in the dv7-3080us notebook. Fewer accidental disconnections are always a plus in my book. 🙂
- removal of the ‘locking’ mechanism for when the laptop lid is shut down in favor of nothing on the dv7-3080us notebook. I don’t miss the extra step with the dv9700t notebook of having to depress a button to release the notebook’s lid.
- Added components: like the addition of the eSATA/USB port. I don’t have a fingerprint reader on the dv7-3080us (I opted to get one with the dv9700t) but so far I’ve survived very well without it.
- Better WEI scores on the dv7-3080us than on the dv9700t largely because of the better graphics card, more RAM and better processor.
So far, those are the noticeable alterations I’ve observed between the dv9700t and the dv7-3080us. Again, comparing both laptops is really unfair because a 2008 vs 2009 (when it comes to computer gadgets) could render any review meaningless. This little “review” is mostly for my pleasure and those who may find themselves at crossroads. Disclosure, I got a discount (~ 70%) on this laptop because I purchased it on a penny auction website. Beginner’s luck so do NOT try gambling at home! 🙂 Below are the pictures of the laptop as I first received it: